Who Tops The Hoo Coaches List?

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Jed Williams

The coming and much-too-quick passing of Memorial Day brings with it several annual rites: honoring the memory of those who served, rediscovering the grilling gluttony of the Big Green Egg, and soaking in college lacrosse’s crowning weekend. Oh yeah, and beer’s usually involved too.

For sports fans, it’s often a time to reflect. For the most part, the games have ended (NCAA trips for baseball and rowing not withstanding). And for how much we all love college football, the countdown to Pete Carroll-Joe McKnight-Tommy Trojan still borders on 100 days.

So naturally, certain questions arise. Two in particular always peak my interest. Both – a la ‘Bird v. Magic,’ ‘Alba v. Biel v. Johansson,’ and ‘Bull Durham v. Major League’ – have no perfect answer. In this case, the snobby columnist/host/moderator isn’t always right, and that’s exactly what makes these so much darn fun to kick around. They are ‘who’s the best coach at UVa’ and ‘which is Virginia’s top sports program?’ Today we’ll take up the coaching quagmire.

First, let’s define our terms. In this particular, highly subjective op-ed, we’re honoring the top overall leaders of programs year in and year out, not awarding medals for 2007-08 excellence alone, though that is a critical cog in the evaluation. So are other factors: recent history, positioning for future success, recruiting, roster management, team image/reputation, and general program welfare.

Note also that several up and comers in the Virginia coaching ranks were excluded because of incomplete, impossible-to-summarize tenures. Some of those names could certainly pop up in years to come.

Again, there is no handy toolkit for compiling such a list. So here goes, Virginia’s Top 10 coaches. Read, enjoy, analyze, and devour. Then debate away.

Okay, so perhaps I lied in that long-winded intro. Not sure how much realistic room for debate there is here. In an athletic department that features eight – count ’em eight – ACC Coaches of the Year over the past athletic season,

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